We have just celebrated Thanksgiving. And with Christmas decorations brightening up many stores and shopping centers since Black Friday, we have clear indications of what’s to come: not only the holiday that proclaims “good will toward men,” but also the end of one year and the beginning of another. All of which tends to place one in a contemplative mood.

It’s no wonder. Sharing the dinner table with friends and family at Thanksgiving and taking the opportunity to think back on all the events of the past 12 months that give cause for gratitude jogs the memory and reminds us of little things that might otherwise have been forgotten. Perhaps more important: being able to voice our thanks out loud somehow lends weight to our gratitude.

We have much to be grateful for at Auto Laundry News. The vendors to the car wash industry have been unstinting in their support of this publication. They provide our readers with invaluable information through their paid messages, keeping operators up to date on product and equipment innovations and ancillary services. Their contributions make this magazine a viable conduit of information from providers to users — and we thank them for that.

As important as the vendor messages are, they would be for naught if there were no one to receive them. Our readers are the important second element in this two-way street. We thank them — you — for their loyal support; for re-upping their subscriptions year after year; for stopping by our booth at the tradeshows for a brief chat, sometimes with an encouraging comment, sometimes with a productive critique. We thank them, particularly, for participating, repeatedly in some instances, in our annual surveys of the various industry segments. We realize that filling out those survey questionnaires takes time, but without the data our readers contribute, there would be no survey results. We thank them for making these features possible.

There would, of course, be no magazine at all were it not for our content contributors. As do all trade publications, we seek to inform, educate, and, sometimes, to stimulate conversation. Where to turn to to accomplish these purposes other than the experts in their fields? Our monthly columnists — Anthony Analetto, Prentice St. Clair, and Bob Roman — deserve a special word of thanks. It’s challenging to produce informative, thought-provoking material month after month. These gentlemen do. We are no less grateful to our occasional contributors who give of their valuable time to share their insights with our readers. They are representative of the car wash industry as a whole, displaying a willingness to help others and to make their expertise available to their peers.

On a grander scale, we are thankful to be living in a free society where the industry we report on is able to pursue its goals, for the most part, without interference.

Of course, no society is perfect, whether a country, a large corporate organization, or a small business endeavor. And for that, too, we should be grateful. For what encourages improvement more than imperfection; what inspires innovation more than imperfection? The results are on display every year at car wash shows nationwide.

Happy Holidays — and thank you!